Monday, September 22, 2014

Something To "Mitch" About

They were jumping for joy at Mosaic on Sunday afternoon and why not!

The Riders somehow found a way to beat the Ottawa REDBLACKS 35-32 in an overtime thriller in front of a sold out crowd in what was one of two very good football games I witnessed this weekend and a third that I watched when I got  home from Mosaic.

Just some thoughts from what I witnessed Sunday

--Thank you very much to the Kansas City Chiefs. Your inability to see how good of a football player Weston Dressler is and how much more he brings to a room was tremendous news to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Dressler's return to Regina has seen this team, with the exception of the Hamilton game, go to another level. His performance Sunday was out of this world and his 60 yard catch for a touchdown is in my mind, the CFL play of the year and one of the best plays of 2014.

--No fan can complain about the officiating yesterday. The Dressler TD should not have counted because of contacting the kicker. How do the zebras miss that? I swear to god refs at High Impact Wrestling and the WWE would have a better handle on things at times.

--That being said, how could other teams who could use the services of Dressler down south not take a chance on him after he was released by the Chiefs.

--Whatever Corey Chamblin said at the half, it worked. Even Coach C was a little embarrassed at game's end when asked what he said. He really wouldn't go into a lot of details, but a couple of players said in a nutshell it was get your s##t together or else. Tearrius George said the words used were ones you can't put over the air. No kidding!

--Henry Burris was the best player on the field yesterday. There is no debate on this question. He looked like the Burris that gave the Riders headaches when he played for Calgary. If his receivers had helped him, he would have been much better

--Tino Sunseri's 2nd half should erase the doubts of many. It seems as if took him a little while to get going, but once he understands the complexities of the game, he looked alright. He is no Darian Durant, but he may be able to get us through these final 6 games with a home playoff game at the end of the rainbow.

--There is a lot of negativity about the team after a six game stretch that saw them go 5-1 heading into the last third of the season.  Why is that?

Other odds and ends:

This is Foote Field on the campus of the University of Alberta. The Rams and Golden Bears hooked up in a thriller Saturday night with a Rams comeback coming one play short as Regina was unsuccessful on what would have been a game tying two point convert as they lost 44-42 to the Bears.

This place is what (and I think what some in the Rams organization and perhaps University) always envisioned the area around the Rams practice field to look like, Its a great little facility that is intimate enough to create a solid game day atmosphere. I am guessing the berm on the far side of the field would even be used to maybe attract a crowd of 5-thousand for a game.  Underneath the stands are weight rooms, meeting rooms, etc. etc and behind me is a track and soccer field where the Bears were also  playing at the same time as the Rams.

To the game itself, Rams starting QB Cayman Shutter suffered what looked to be a rib injury meaning backup Noah Picton had to come in. There was no drop off. Noah, son of former Rams QB Dean Picton, can play the game as he threw for over 430 yards and just over a half of football. The kid doesn't look like a 5th year at all and fans of the Rams can be rest assured the quarterbacking position is in good hands for years to come.  Addison Richards was Addison Richards like catching 9 passes for 225 yards including a TD in the final minute where he was so far open that I could have caught it and ran it into the endzone.  If this team can stop taking bad penalties and improve just a little on the defensive side, they could make some noise. Calgary is still the class of the conference and should win the Hardy Cup, but the battle for 2nd is anyone's guess.  The Huskies are at Mosaic Saturday in what barring a playoff game will be the last time Frank McCrystal coaches against a Saskatoon team. Should be fun!

--Our hotel in Edmonton was close to where Rogers Arena, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers is being built. I asked our cab driver Sunday morning how close we were because I wanted to get a couple of pics for the blog. He had no idea what I was talking about. How can you live in Edmonton and not know a huge new arena is being built? SIGHHHHHHH

--When arriving at the airport, I couldn't believe the amount of people in Rider uniform that were there and on our flight. Were these people Edmontonians who are Rider fans? Were they Reginans who had been in Edmonton and were just getting ready for the proceedings? Whatever it is, they just reinforced the notion that the Riders are "Canada's Team".

--Its the last week of the baseball season meaning its the last week of play for Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter showed how classy of a player he is Friday night when Dalton Pompey of the Blue Jays got his first major league hit. Jeter knew the moment was a special one and retrieved the ball before throwing it to the Jays dugout and congratulating Pompey on the moment. How cool would that be! Baseball and sports need more Jeters in them.

--I was hoping John Cena would not beat Brock Lesnar at WWE Night of Champions and when I read that he had on Twitter, I was shocked. Then I learned, he won because of DQ. OK. Vince and company need to establish some fast-rising stars and give them their chance because Cena's days are done. Its either that or turn him heel and they just won't do that. There is a wrestling show on satellite radio that I hear when off to Mosaic for Rider practices and they get some good info and have some good ideas. I wonder if the WWE brass are listening.

--They let a good sized lead slip away, but the Seahawks knocked off Denver in a game I PVR"ed and one I was glad I did. I wish that would have been the Super Bowl. Well, no maybe that's not the case as I would have been an emotional pile of jello watching that play out. In the end, the Seahawks win another one. I would gladly take another game against Peyton and company at the end of the season. If you watched the game, you couldn't help but be impressed at the play of Jon Ryan. He is just getting better and better. Seven punts for an average of over 50 and he boomed one on a free kick from the Seattle 25 to I believe the Denver 3 yard line. That's a 72 yard kick in the air! It was Canada Day at Century Link Field so I'm guessing Regina's export to the NFL was a little pumped up.

--This is the play of the day in the NFL as far as I'm concerned. Nice job Stephen Tulloch...nice indeed. Welcome to the blooper reels forever!!! This play by Johnny Manziel could also be considered. Too bad it was called back. What was it with quarterbacks catching passes yesterday? Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton and Manziel for sure caught balls. Were there more??

That's all I least that's all I can remember right now.  Later!


Anonymous said...

Can't say enough about Dressler.

Sunseri did his thing against worst D in the league. It will be MUCH tougher against Edmonton and Calgary. I'm still not sold yet, but he did win me over a little bit after last week.


Anonymous said...

No mention of the Pats? That's a good thing because they didn't show up Saturday. I think the headline in the LP sums it up the best today. EMBARASSING!!

Anonymous said...

When do we get a new FG kicker? I've had enough of Milo.

Anonymous said...

You have to check out the story and video on today's National Post website of the post-game interview with Texas high school player Apollos Hester. Is he not the next Pinball Clemons? You will not see a better interview with a football player. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

from an entertainment point of view Mitch, Saturday was a ring-ding-dong-dandy. Noah Picton looks fantastic for a rookie. Is there a QB controversy in Regina?? I heard you were there but didn't have time to come say hi.

Russ from Saskatoon

Barney said...

Too bad you missed watching the game. If you had, you would know that the missed field goals were because of botched snaps. Milo kicked the game winner. He also did a fine job punting.

75flyersbestteamever said...

Doesn't the concept that the winning points in Rider game could have came from a "failure" enough to really, really look at the whole Rouge thing...the chaos afterwards with the RedBlacks (computer can't stop thinking that's a spelling error) kick from End Zone looked like grade school kids running around making up rules on to settle outcome near end of recess
Please wear Pink and dark shades of Red in October to help fight against Breast Cancer and THE ROUGE respectively.
P.S.--having watched 3 variations of OT in football I think the NCAA version with FSU and Clemson seemed the cleanest way to resolve tie...NFL seems the least satisfactory.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kansas City is the understatement of the year.

Anonymous said...

What was with Dominguez yesterday? Is he taking lessons in how to be rude by Ballsy? Why aren't you doing that Scruffy? Nice job on the Rams game too!

Don W

Anonymous said...

Perry echoes my concerns. I like what I saw yesterday from Tino in the 2nd half, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done. A lot!

Anonymous said...

Fire Taman ! 2014 Roughriders team edition nothing to gloat about. Pathetic 3+ amateur hour performance over a expansion franchise. As a matter of fact, both teams sucked, game sucked, end of story !

Anonymous said...

NFL Sunday viewing very enjoyable yesterday. CFL on field circus like game product and TSN broadcast amateur, (those penalty flags, over time format ridiculous). TSN need get it's bland on air television production act together, you could barely make out the play by play commentary/game related info due to background intrusion. CFL seems to be in big time product decline this year compared to the polished product of the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha funny, Tyrone Brackenridge getting swatted away like a pesky "tiny" little fly, that's one strong dude the REDBLACKS have.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it. The Rams could have had a facility like what Alberta has on campus, but there are muckety-mucks at the U of R who don't want a building like that there because it would shine the spotlight on the Rams and not the Cougars and they hate the fact the football team will not change their name.

Anonymous said...

The Rams game was better than the Riders game!

Anonymous said...

Dressler = unbelievable. So glad he's back!


Anonymous said...

who do you suggest they bring in?

Anonymous said...

stay on the nfl game then. then you wont waste time posting a bitching and whining rant about the cfl on here. plenty of of people love the cfl product , but your one of those a__holes just because you dont like you need other people know it too. do us a favour and f___koff.

Anonymous said...

Hey Replies Anonymous with the cussing rant. This blog site not exclusive to Canadian Football Bush League, blomeh.

//// Go Seahawks ////

Anonymous said...


Great job on Rams game the other night! Are you going to be doing more games? Could this lead to you replacing Roddy when he heads to the NHL as we all know that's where he is headed?


Mitchell Blair said...

Thanks Jerry. One more game against UBC next month along with home games on Access. No, its not an audition for Rod's job and what makes you think he is going to leave his cushy position? HA HA!

Anonymous said...

another newfound seahawks fan what a surprise. add another sheep to the flock.

Anonymous said...

The Regina Luther Lions kicker will suffice, proving more than adequate while a big Improvement on Milo.